Home Bangladesh Tk 3,000 cr business targets from third terminal of HSIA
Bangladesh - 3 weeks ago

Tk 3,000 cr business targets from third terminal of HSIA

To be opened in Dec for use

Mahfuz Emran: The newly constructed third terminal is more than twice the size of Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 of Shahjalal International Airport. The area of the old two terminals is 1 lakh square meters, and the third terminal is 230,000 square meters. Although it was partially inaugurated in December last year, passengers will be able to use all its facilities in December next year. Bangladesh Civil Aviation Authority (CAAB) is moving towards that goal.
The former two terminals can serve 80 lakh passengers annually. And with the new terminal, 1 crore 60 lakh passengers can be served.
Ever since the inauguration of the third terminal, there has been a discussion as to who will get the ground handling work of the third terminal. Because the government has built the infrastructure for the passengers, but if the passenger service can’t be ensured, then the passengers will have to suffer with this terminal like the old terminal.
Statistics show that Biman earns an annual revenue of Tk 1,500 crore from the ground handling of the two old terminals. And since the third terminal is more than twice as big as this, at least Tk 3,000 crores of revenue is possible from here. So various foreign companies are racing to get the ground handling work of the third terminal.
Those concerned say that everyone will want to take such a big business opportunity. And that’s why foreign companies are dying.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism has already informed about who will be responsible for the ground handling of the third terminal – Japan will decide in this regard. Now everyone is watching whom Japan will eventually take with them in this service sector.
The name of Biman Bangladesh Airlines is the first to be discussed in this work because Biman has a long experience in this sector. Moreover, Bangladesh’s state-owned company Biman is the sole service provider of Shahjalal International Airport in the ground handling sector.
However, apart from Biman, many other foreign companies are trying to get this job. There are many speculations about which company gets the job based on the partnership with Japan.
However, the aviation minister said that Japan will do the ground handling work. In this case, if the plane is taken, domestic interests will be protected. We have prepared the aircraft to provide ground handling services to the third terminal.
On the other hand, CAAB Chairman M Mofidur Rahman says that Japan will provide ground handling services. The name of the aircraft is also under discussion. We have also spoken for Biman.
However, Japan is verifying the capacity of the number of passengers and aircraft that will move through the third terminal. Aircraft capacity has also increased. In the meantime, Japan will select those it deems worthy.
But some say, in this case, it would be better if two to three organizations are appointed in the ground handling department. This will improve the quality of service as well as make it competitive. By doing this, the passengers will also get better service.
Those concerned say that handling such a large terminal may not be possible for Japan alone. In that case they will look for partners. In the meantime, Turkey’s Celebi, UK’s Menzis, Switzerland’s Swissport and other companies are working to get this job. The British High Commissioner posted in Bangladesh expressed his country’s interest in doing Menzies work in a meeting with the Minister of Aviation and Chairman of CAAB. Celebs in Turkey are eager to get work. Swissport is also in the running. They will also meet the Chairman of CAAB and give a detailed presentation about them.
Japan is interested in operating the third terminal on a PPP basis. For this reason, IFC has also conducted a survey. Further decision will be taken based on their report.
Complaints about airline services
Shahjalal International Airport, the country’s main gateway, has no end of complaints about aircraft ground handling services. Ground handling service is one of the most important departments for passenger complaints. But Biman could never create service mentality in this sector. Even though there have been unarmed complaints about the services of this sector for decades, they have never been able to take proper steps to resolve them.
There are many cases of foreign airlines delaying the departure of flights due to lack of timely service. At various times, foreigners lobbied hard to get this ground handling, but in the end, Biman stayed with the government’s blessing. The government has given this support at various times to prioritize the interests of the country, but this time it is no longer in that position. The government wants to have a plane. However, since Japan has built a third terminal with the help of JICA, the government is supporting the operation of the aircraft through the partnership.
Biman says it has bought Tk 1,000 crore worth of equipment to get the third terminal working. In the last one year, more than 1000 manpower has been appointed in the ground handling department. Those concerned say that it is not enough to buy the equipment, there is a lack of coordination and cooperation in the work of the aircraft. Also training of staff is required. What is needed above all is a service mindset. If there is no change in this mentality, there will be no change in quality of service.
Why foreigners want ground handling?
Biman Bangladesh Airlines is the only ground handling service provider of Shahjalal International Airport. The state-owned airline earns Tk 1,500 crore annually from this sector. Ground handling is a major source of revenue for national flag airlines. Since independence Biman is a single service provider in this sector. Foreigners have always had an eye on this sector. At various times they have tried hard to get this business through local business partners. Among them are Middle East-based Danata, Switzerland-based Swissport and Turkey’s Celebi.
But not only Shahjalal, Chattogram Shah Amanat International Airport and Sylhet Osmani International Airport have been doing ground handling since the beginning of Biman just as ordinary passengers have been angry about Biman’s ground handling services over the years, so have the 30 foreign airlines operating from Shahjalal. There are allegations that Biman has failed to provide international standard service. Moreover, the responsibility of failure to deliver luggage on time also fell on these foreign airlines. Foreign airlines have repeatedly pointed the finger at the aircraft regarding these complaints including luggage theft, broken suitcases. They allege that Biman is responsible for all this. But they have to pay compensation for that.
What Biman saying?
Biman’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Shafiul Azim expressed a positive attitude towards getting the work of the third terminal and said that Biman has the capacity, expertise and necessary equipment to provide ground handling services of the third terminal. More equipment will be purchased in the future and special emphasis is being placed on staff training.
“The aircraft’s ground handling staff is highly skilled. They have the necessary skills and certifications. Airline workers are also in high demand abroad.
He said that due to the limited amount of baggage belt in the old terminal, the limitation to provide the service has to be faced. However, the new terminal will have more baggage belts, so passengers no longer have to waste time standing in line to get their luggage. Besides, the number of check-in counters in the old terminal is also less. It creates pressure on passengers. New terminals will not have this problem. Aircraft capacity has been increased by purchasing new parts and hiring new staff. So, it is not right to question the capability of the aircraft.
What do experts say?
Aviation expert ATM Nazrul Islam said, new airlines are not increasing suddenly. Shahjalal will handle two crore 35 lakh passengers by 2035. Biman will lose big business if the third terminal works.
He said, it will not be good for the country or for the interests of the country. But Biman has to improve the quality of service. Otherwise, the state-owned airlines will lose their single business in this sector.
He also thinks that preparations should be made now by starting this in December. And since there are good business opportunities here, foreigners can be attracted.
Efficient management should be provided to provide passenger friendly service. About 6,000 manpower will be required to operate the third terminal. Those concerned say that it is not just about having sophisticated machines, but the skills of the people behind the machines are important. If not, the suffering of passengers will not be reduced.
Kazi Wahidul Alam, an aviation expert and former member of the board of directors of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, said that the passengers will get ample space and a good environment in the third terminal. However, the organizations that will be engaged in airport services should change their approach and at the same time increase the quality of service.

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